To say that the players of the NFL are hypocrites when it comes to their “activism” would be an incredible understatement. When it comes to the way that the NFL has taken a stance on social justice over the past two months, their two-faced nature has proven to be polarizing and largely ineffective. Namely, when the spotlight is taken off of the players taking a knee for the National Anthem, the focus turns to Cowboys running back, Ezekiel Elliott.
Early last year, Elliott was accused of domestic abuse with a former girlfriend. When the Dallas Cowboys selected Elliott with the 4th overall pick in 2016’s draft, the accusations that were being thrown Elliott’s way were not in consideration when the Cowboys made their selection. However, during July of 2016, Elliott’s ex-girlfriend came forward again, discussing continued abuse that took place throughout the summer. She revealed bruises, scars and threatening text messages that Elliott sent to his self-proclaimed “friend with benefits”. However, these accusations were disregarded and Elliott was allowed to play throughout the duration of the 2016 season, even though the evidence was strikingly present and the NFL even acknowledged the fact that Elliott was responsible for the bruises on his accuser’s arms, face, and torso.
Fast forward to the summer of 2017 when NFL Commissioner Roger Goddell, alongside high-ranking NFL officials, re-opened the investigation into Elliott’s charges. However, the NFL Players Association has stepped in and they have done everything humanly possible in order to defend Elliott’s inhumane behavior. Over the past 4 months, a dirty legal battle has kept Elliott on the field, as the court’s inability to come to a decision has allowed “Zeke” to play each Sunday as evidence and accusations loom over each game. And although the NFL has tried to suspend Elliott on six separate occasions, Elliott’s fellow players have to come to his defense each and every time.
This concept is called “selective activism”, and it’s killing the NFL’s image, integrity, and of course, their ratings. However, this false sense of “social justice” is not only an issue for the NFL at a corporate level, as the players are feeling the heat as well.
Hypocrisy is the flavor of the month at NFL stadiums, where players will speak up against police brutality and white-on-black violence, while these same players will defend a violent domestic abuser with their dying breath. Who are these players to lecture anyone on “modern social justice” while they harbor a violent criminal within their own walls? This begs an even greater question. Where are the criminal charges for Elliott? Or Ray Rice for that matter? Or the countless domestic abusers in the long history of the NFL? Are these players exempt from basic American law simply because they play football?
The worst part is that American society has held football players and sports icons to this incredible standard for too long now. The damage is done. Ray Rice was able to beat his fiancee to a bloody pulp and only received a 2 game suspension from the NFL with no criminal charges whatsoever. Ezekiel Elliott was able to leave his ex-girlfriend bloodied and scarred and still plays in the national spotlight each Sunday. And of course former star running back for the Buffalo Bills, O.J. Simpson, who famously killed his ex-wife and escaped conviction, while his defense team used his star power to evade the law.
The NFL is notorious for crime amongst its players, and the NFL Players Association will always do everything possible to defend rampant criminals, no matter how much blood is on their hands. The ultimate hypocrisy occurs when these same players will “use their platform” to “preach social justice”, but fail to realize that their union is the very same one that defends proven criminals in the face of undeniable evidence. And now, one of those proven criminals will play once again this week, as he has been all year, after being granted a temporary restraining order and a postponement to his hearing that will allow him to specifically play this week.
There are about 4.7 million American women who suffer from domestic violence each year, and Ezekiel Elliott’s ex-girlfriend is just one drop in an ever-expanding ocean of American violence. That number grows each and every year, while the players of the NFL sit back and stoke the fire. If the NFL wants to clear their image, Ezekiel Elliott must be suspended, and criminal charges must be considered. However, if the players of the NFL truly want to make a difference, and actually “use their platform” for good, then they should take a step back and realize that blindly defending a violent domestic abuser is wrong, no matter how well he can run a football.
The utter hypocrisy that the NFL Players Association has shown throughout this entire series of events is mind-numbing. The fact that a man like Elliott can be defended so vigorously by so many, despite countless pieces of evidence working against him is simply unfathomable. The blood is quite literally on “Zeke’s” hands, and still, his colleagues defend him as if he is the one who has been mistreated and victimized. So before you give a hand to the NFL players who protest on the sidelines each week, remember that these are the men who will continuously take a knee for what they believe is right, but will never take a stand against what is truly wrong.